DALE EARNHARDT JR. -- ...
DALE EARNHARDT JR. -- #8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET / Finished 33rd.
On the race in general:
"We were real tight with the race car. We got to working on it, and it was real fast before we got into Michael (Waltrip), and I was pretty happy with it at that point. It still needed a little more work, but you saw how it turned out. It was anybody's race tonight. I felt like we were in real good shape right up until the accident.
"I'm feeling really confident right now, real good about my team. We had a tough night tonight, but the car was real fast before the crash. As long as the cars are fast, I've got to do the rest, and tonight I slipped up a little bit."
On the accident with Michael Waltrip:
"Well, Michael was just running out there in front of me, and I got a real good run off the corner and tried to go outside of him. I looked to the outside on the front straightaway, and he either moved up or took his natural line through the front straightaway, and I was right there on him. Next thing I know he was spinning around in front of me, and I didn't know I was as close to him as I was, and I just spun him out. I hate it for him and Tony (Eury) Jr. and all those guys. I just made a mistake. I was running real hard, had a great run off the corner, and I thought I would be able to get to the outside of him and make a pass on him."
Tony Eury Sr. suggested there might be a problem between you and Michael...
"Yeah, well, I can understand that. There is no problem between me and Michael, and I think Michael understands that. He's definitely not the person I wanted to run into tonight. It's unfortunate. Hopefully everybody can come to terms with it one way or another. I know some guys on Michael's team are probably upset and don't really know. I mean, if you're not in the race car, you don't know what the hell's going on out there, so I can't expect anyone to understand what exactly was going on at that moment and time, and how we all came together and wrecked. The people that understand, they'll move on and we'll try to get better next week. ... (Me and Michael) don't get into the habit of running into each other. And we don't really race each other that hard. We actually try to work together most of the time. It's just unfortunate. We're out there racing, and he happened to be the guy. It could've been anybody else. He's the last person I wanted to run into, but we were all going for the same piece of real estate."
On the communication between himself and interim crew chief Steve Hmiel:
"The communication between me and Steve was awesome. We kept getting the car better and better, and kept making changes that were improving the car. We hadn't run in the 29s all night, and right there before the wreck we were running 29.6. We were a half-second faster than we'd been all night. I know the track was cooling off a little bit, but I felt like we let one slip away here. We could've had us a good top-five or even a victory tonight."
On all the wrecks that happened tonight, which resulted in a record 22 cautions:
"The track's a little slick. Just a lot of grip in spots, and there's spots where there's no grip. Once you got the car working pretty good, it wasn't that big a deal; wasn't that tough to drive. But the car was real hard to drive if you had a push or a loose condition. Probably do some good to put some asphalt down I think, 'cause the track's tearing up a little bit anyways."